Kale with peanut sauce and spicy roasted black beans

Kale in peanut sauce with roasted black beans

The weather has been remarkably strange this week. People will walk up to one another and remark, “what a strange day!” We seem to go through several seasons in one day. The mornings are cool and damp and foggy. The chill stretches into the afternoon, so that you sit, shivering in your brick house (which stays cool till sometime in August) and piling on cardigans. Then, when you venture out around three o’clock, the sun burns through the haze and suddenly it feels like mid-summer. It’s hot. You feel dazed, dizzy and burnt in the unexpected sunshine. Then small showers pass by, when they’re not predicted, and a gentle thunder storms wake you at 4:30 in the morning. What strange days!

Malcolm and I went for a walk yesterday morning in the seashore mistiness. Everything was vividly green through the haze. We pilfered a lambs ear from the abandoned train tracks for Malcolm to plant in the back yard. Someone passing asked Malcolm if he likes lambs ear because it’s soft. “No,” he said matter-of-factly, “Because it smells like goat’s cheese.” That’s my boy!!

It’s been nice cooking weather. Lots of exciting produce – fresh and tender and new. But it’s not too hot to cook it yet, and if you’re lucky the day stays warm long enough that you can eat outside. The peanut sauce in this recipe was inspired by barbecue sauce. I find barbecue sauce fascinating. The mix of flavors. The fact that it often contains tamarind, which seems like an unexpected ingredient in a very American food. I thought a peanutty barbecue sauce would be tasty. So that’s what I made. The black beans are roasted separately, with their own complementary spices. They have a nice texture, not crispy, like roasted chickpeas, but pleasantly firm. They go nicely with the kale, which brings its own assertive texture to the bowl.

Here’s Beastie Boys with Peanut Butter and Jelly. I love it! I love them!

Continue reading